Liberty Summary Response
In 1775, Benjamin Franklin stated his views on suppressing liberties for the feeling of temporary safety.
Franklin correctly portrays how a person wanting to take away certain liberties to feel safe does not deserve to have liberty or to be safe because of their ignorance. Thomas Jefferson a Founding Father of the United States and a writer of the Declaration of Independence, who advocated for personal rights said, “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual” (Jefferson Brainyquote). Jefferson clearly states that liberty should not be obstructed by the law because it can violate an individual's rights, but should only be limited by the liberties of another person. Jefferson and Franklin have similar ideas that liberty is the most important aspect of an individual’s life, and that it should be uncompromised and unobstructed. Both Jefferson and Franklin witnessed how the laws of an unjust tyrant who claimed protection for civil rights could manipulate the laws. Seeing the deceit and unlawful actions of a tyrant depicted to Franklin and Jefferson how a person taking liberty for granted does not deserve to have it.
However, some people would say that with a changing world we need to have new rules to protect ourselves from outside threat, and we need protection more than some of our rights to privacy. Jodi Rell a long time Republican Governor of Connecticut said, “At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security” ( Rell Brainyquote). Former Governor Rell shows how to the government, safety should be put before an individual’s rights. Much like the government shown in 1984, by George Orwell, when the government eliminates their own citizens who were deemed as a security threat, the government would rather risk losing a citizen’s rights than putting the lives of those citizens in jeopardy. With our changing world and ideology we have a growing threats to national security and the government will have to sacrifice some facets of life will have to be sacrificed for safety.
At first glance you could see how one could think that with a changing world we need more security and to do that we have to sacrifice our rights. But today’s society has taken those ideals to a whole new level. Many new ways of “security” have been developed to allegedly stop terrorism, however these new ways of security compromise citizen’s rights. These new ways of security are more about surveillance. Millions of closed circuit security cameras have been installed in cities around the world and can be used to survey citizens wherever they are. These new forms of security are extremely intrusive, and have not been proven to combat terrorism or keep citizens safe. Also extra forms of security have also been produced to “combat terrorism” such as Homeland Security and TSA. These security precautions intrude on people’s privacy and their basic rights as American Citizens. Glenn Greenwald who is a well known American author, lawyer, and journalist, said “ Surveillance breeds conformity” ( Greenwood BrainyQuote). Security can be misconstrued for surveillance and that can lead to the alienation of our basic American rights. Sacrificing liberty for safety can lead to conformity, and the people who believe that we should compromise our rights for safety do not deserve liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin in 1775, correctly stated how individuals that believe sacrificing basic liberties can lead to safety do not deserve liberty nor safety due to their ignorance.